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Punjab CM to be elected today

LAHORE, June 5: Members of the Punjab Assembly will elect leader of the house (chief minister) in a session of the house scheduled to be held here on Thursday (today) morning.

The chief minister-elect will take oath of his office at governor’s house the same evening.

There are two candidates in the run and speaker Rana Iqbal Khan has accepted nominations of both of them. They are PML-N’s Shahbaz Sharif, the former chief minister, and PTI’s Mian Mahmoodur Rashid, who also enjoys PML-Q’s support.

The PPP, which has abstained from elections to the offices of speaker and deputy speaker, has yet to decide on its strategy for the June 6 contest.

At least 344 MPAs will use their right to franchise in the election to be held on a division basis.

Assembly secretary Maqsood Ahmad Malik says the rule of division will be used to ascertain the candidate who enjoys support of a majority of the members. Separate lobbies will be earmarked for both candidates and members will be asked to go for either of the two to ascertain the number of supporters each candidate enjoyed.

The PML-N has secured a two-thirds majority in the house by bagging 305 seats in the May 11 general election and its nominee Rana Iqbal got 297 votes in the contest for the office of speaker.

The PTI and the PML-Q jointly have 35 members in the house.

PPP: The Pakistan People’s Party has decided in principle to abstain from the election of the chief minister on Thursday (today).

PPP Punjab Secretary-General Tanvir Ashraf Kaira told Dawn on Wednesday that PPP’s seven legislators were likely to abstain from voting for the chief minister.

Since the PPP has decided that it will not vote for PTI’s Mian Mahmoodur Rashid, it has left with no other option but to abstain from the process.

On the other hand, PML-Q MPA Samina Khawar Hayat expressed surprise over the PML-N’s claim that some opposition members would also vote for Shahbaz Sharif. “No opposition member will vote for Shahbaz on Thursday,” she said, adding the PML-N would face a “tiny but strong” opposition.